closs missing poster

(FBI Missing Person poster)

Man Charged With Stealing Missing Wisconsin Teen's Clothes, Underwear

Police say, however, he is not a suspect in her disappearance

October 30, 2018 - 1:29 pm
Categories: 

BARRON, Wis. (WWJ/AP) - A man has been charged with  burglarizing a Wisconsin home where a couple was killed and their 13-year-old daughter went missing -- but authorities say he's been cleared of any involvement in the girl's abduction. 

According to CBS News, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said 32-year-old Kyle Jaenke-Annis was arrested over the weekend at the home of James, Denise Closs and Jayme Closs on the morning of their funeral, after he broke in through a patio door.

When authorities arrived, they ordered Jaenke-Annis out of the home and recovered several items in his possession including two tank tops, a dress and underwear the suspect told police he believed belonged to the missing girl. 

Kyle Jaenke-Annis
Kyle Jaenke-Annis (Booking photo)

When asked why he'd stolen those specific items, Jaenke-Annis said he thought they were items "people wouldn't miss" and he was "curious what size Jayme was."

Jaenke-Annis has been charged with burglary and jumping bail. It's unclear how investigators ruled him out as a suspect in the teen's disappearance. 

The Barron County Sheriff's Office said, as of Monday they had received over 2,000 tips and have closed over 1875 of them as they continue to search for Jayme.

Although he have released no details as to why, Fitzgerald has said repeatedly that they believe Jayme was abducted, that she has been ruled out as a suspect in her parents' killings and that they do believe she is still alive. 

"There is a tip out there that will break this case, keep them coming in. Thank you again for the community support behind the law enforcement effort on this case," reads the latest up dated on the sheriff's office Facebook page. 

Child abduction case experts say the need to find the missing teen grows more urgent with each passing day, and that it’s important the public stay engaged, no matter how long it takes to find her.

Here are some details about the case from the Associated Press:

WHAT HAPPENED TO JAYME?

She’s been missing since early on Oct. 15, when sheriff’s deputies responding to a 911 call found the door to her family’s home near Barron kicked in and her parents, James and Denise Closs, shot dead inside. Investigators believe Jayme was abducted and ruled her out as a suspect in her parents’ killings.

WHAT ARE AUTHORITIES DOING?

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said more than 200 law enforcement officers are on the ground daily and authorities have cleared more than 1,400 leads and continue to pursue others.

Some tips led officials to recruit 2,000 volunteers for a massive ground search , which has yet to turn up anything of value. Authorities are also seeking information on two cars — a red or orange Dodge Challenger and a black Ford Edge or black Acura MDX — that may have been near the family’s home on the night of the attack. And they are asking anyone who was on Highway 8 early on Oct. 15 to call the tipline to see if they can offer any information.

Fitzgerald said Wednesday that a new evidence team went through the house to make sure nothing had been overlooked and that it removed some items that were being processed. Authorities are also still reviewing the 911 call in which no one spoke to dispatchers. The call was made from Denise Closs’ cellphone.

Rick Thornton, a former head of the FBI in Minneapolis who is not connected to the case, said authorities are also likely interviewing witnesses and associates, examining social media accounts, computers and other devices, and analyzing cellphone traffic from the area. He said the real challenge for investigators is prioritizing what leads might be most likely to bear fruit. Another challenge is managing it all and making sure that someone takes a look at what is found to try to connect the dots.

Thornton also said investigators might know more than they are releasing to the public, and that they need to strike a balance between keeping the public engaged and protecting the investigation.

12 LONG DAYS

Thornton said in any criminal probe, the first 48 hours are critical to getting a quick resolution. But no matter how long it takes, investigators will not give up on missing children cases and will be motivated to follow any lead that comes in.

“You don’t lose hope on these things,” Thornton said. “You keep following the leads that come up.” He said it only takes one lead to go from an unsolved case to “all of a sudden you are on the fast track to a resolution.”

Thornton led the FBI’s Minneapolis office when the remains of Jacob Wetterling, a boy who was kidnapped in Minnesota in 1989, were found in 2016. He said that despite the decades of not knowing what happened, he always held out hope that Jacob would be found alive.

Bob Lowery, vice president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said: “As time goes on ... it becomes more difficult to find these children, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t.”

BRINGING THEM HOME

Elizabeth Smart was 14 when she was kidnapped from her Utah home in 2002. While many feared the worst, she was found alive nine months later. Jaycee Dugard was 11 when she was kidnapped from a California street in 1991. She was held captive for 18 years before she was rescued.

Three women and girls — ages 14, 16, and 21 when they were abducted from 2002 through 2004 — were found in a Cleveland home in 2013 after one of them screamed for help. Thirteen-year-old Ben Ownby was found four days after he was kidnapped in 2007, and his discovery in Missouri led authorities to Shawn Hornbeck, who was kidnapped four years earlier.

Lowery said, “until we know for certain, we can never give up hope.”

Jayme’s aunt, Jennifer Smith, addressed her niece directly at a news conference on Wednesday, saying the family missed her giggles, and her grandpa needs more artwork for his refrigerator.

“Jayme, not a moment goes by that we’re not thinking of you and praying for you,” Smith said. “We need you here to fill that hole in our hearts. We will never stop looking for you.”

-------------

Anyone with information should call 1-855-744-3879 or email tips to jaymetips@co.barron.wi.us

The Assocaited Press contributed to this report.